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1. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 50 > Issue: 4
Ekaterina Vostrikova, Petr Kusliy Е.В. Вострикова
Rediscovering the logical analysis of language
Открывая логический анализ языка заново

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This paper gives an overview of the project of formal description of natural languages and discusses the place and the prospects of this project in contemporary philosophy. This project goes back to the ideas of Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein, however many contemporary philosophers, especially in Russia, believe that it is doomed to failure, because any natural language is vague and context-dependent. The authors argue that Russian philosophy of language could benefit from familiarity with the ideas developed within contemporary formal semantics. In particular, the authors provide some illustrations that denounce some delusions about natural languages and the impossibility of their formal analysis. The authors provide examples of some universal restrictions in syntax (such as condition C of the Chomsky's theory of binding) to show that, despite some popular philosophical views, the nature of languages is not fully conventional and their grammars are restricted. The authors also discuss evidence from sign languages showing that they are not mere pantomimes and that their grammars are restricted in the same ways that the grammars of the spoken languages are restricted. The authors present contemporary formal semantics of natural language as the modern version of the logical semantics originally developed by Frege, Russell, Tarski and others. They claim that the results of this discipline show that the conclusion that the logical analysis of natural language is a doomed project is not justified.
panel discussion
2. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 50 > Issue: 4
Evgeny Borisov Е.В. Борисов
How to analyze the sentence “I thought your yacht was larger than it is”?
Логический анализ предложения «Я думал, ваша яхта больше [чем она есть]»

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The sentence cited in the title - in what follows, I refer to it as (S) - occurs in a story Russell tells us in On Denoting. It represents the class of sentences containing a comparative predicate applied twice to a single object in the scope of an epistemic verb. The problem with sentences of this type is that the received tools of logical analysis do not allow both to accurately reflect their surface structure and to take into account some intuitions about our use of them in standard cases. For instance, as Kripke has shown, Russell's own analysis conflicts with our intuition since it renders (S) as an ascription of a de re belief about the size of the yacht. I argue that an analogous flaw have alternative analyses involving the notion of size, viz. ones offered by Kaplan and Salmon. In 2013, I proposed an objectual analysis of (S) which makes no use of the notion of size. That analysis has certain counter-intuitive implications, too. Recently, Gorbatov proposed a version of the objectual analysis based on interpretation of the adjective larger in (S) as a cross-world predicate in terms of Wehmeier's cross-world subjunctive modal logic (CSML). I argue that Gorbatov's analysis is counterintuitive, too, for it ascribes to the utterer a quite uncommon belief involving a particular possible world. Nevertheless, I find the idea behind his proposal - the interpretation of larger in (S) as a cross-world predicate - fruitful, and offer an alternative version of analysis of (S) in terms of CSML. The analysis I propose renders (S) as an ascription of an objectual attitude rather than a propositional one. I sketch the semantics of objectual attitude ascription involving a cross-world comparative predicate and argue that the analysis I propose is free from disadvantages of the analyses mentioned above.
3. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 50 > Issue: 4
Victor Gorbatov В.В. Горбатов
Who was thinking that Yacht was larger than it is ?
Кто именно думал, что «яхта больше [чем она есть]»?

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The present paper is a reply to Borisov's recent criticism of my interpretation of Russell's joke about yachts. I partially agree with him in the issue of semantic content / truth conditions differentiation. Nevertheless, I deem it necessary to clarify the basic idea of my approach and to to draw attention the main drawback of the Borisov's 'objectual analysis III' - namely, his interpretation ignores the “reflexive" content of the analyzed sentence.
4. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 50 > Issue: 4
Ivan Mikirtumov И.Б. Микиртумов
Arranging the rigging, or why “object” attitudes do not exist
Поправляя такелаж, или Почему не существует «объектных» установок

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The article deals with some problems of formalization of Russell's example with a yacht and Eugeniy Borisov's proposal concerning the usage of “object" affitudes. This idea seems wrong to me in terms of its contents, besides its formal realization fails. I believe that formalization of the example with a yacht must, firstly, take into account the pragmatics of the phrase's usage and, secondly, point at the mental representations of the objects. To do this, one can use propositions reflecting a technical aspect of semantic relations.
5. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 50 > Issue: 4
Daniel Tiskin Д.Б. Тискин
In search of expressive power: Evgeniy Borisov on the semantics of comparative predicates
В поисках выразительных средств

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The comment is focused on two aspects of the commented paper, viz. the choice of the appropriate auxiliary formalism for the analysis of Russell's joke about the yacht, and the more general issue of what sort of arguments are acceptable in the logical investigation of natural language semantics. As for technical issues, we suggest that an extensional language should be used which contains variables over possible worlds and over degrees and show how Russell's joke could be accounted for in such a formalism; in addition, some remarks concerning Borisov's technical work are provided. At the methodological side, we argue against purely intuitive considerations regarding the presence or absence of this or that component in the semantics of a given lexical item. Real evidence as to which sentences containing that word are acceptable and what they mean should be used instead.
6. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 50 > Issue: 4
Petr Kusliy П.С. Куслий
Couldn’t the same be stated in a simpler way?
Нельзя ли попроще?

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This comment on E. Borisov's text deals with some technical complications that his proposed analysis faces, according to the author's opinion. The author argues that Borisov's definition of the operator O is not clear and his theory might predict nonexistent readings unless the definition is stated clearly. The author criticizes Borisov's proposal for not being compositional and outlines an alternative analysis in terms of the contemporary semantic treatments of comparative constructions and attitude reports.
7. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 50 > Issue: 4
Evgeny Borisov Е.В. Борисов
Reply to critics
Ответ оппонентам

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In his reply, E. Borisov fixes the points of diversion between him and his critics and sketches the directions in which his argumentation will proceed. Among the issues mentioned are the problems of the interpretation of comparative constructions (whether they are about objects or sizes), semantic contribution of the modal operator "O" (introduced by Borisov), ways of retrospective reports of affitudes.
epistemology and cognition
8. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 50 > Issue: 4
Ilya Kasavin И.Т. Касавин
The critique of group belief: a discussion with Jennifer Lackey
Критика групповых убеждений

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The approach proposed by Jennifer Lackey is an analytical version of social epistemology, in which the subject of the research is the nature of collective (group) beliefs. She analyzes the possibility of explaining cognitive collectivity and reducing collective knowledge to the individual one at the example of deviant knowledge types - lie and bullshit. In the given paper, the author argues that Lackey's point of view deserves criticism for neither “group" nor “belief" receive a clear definition; no criteria are proposed to distinguish cognitively relevant and irrelevant social factors; the opposition of the individual and the group is retained. The author argues that the concept of collective knowledge could be much more consistent if one uses the group-grid approach elaborated by M. Douglas; one shows the social nature of the individual; one applies the entire toolkit of philosophy of language and discourse analysis for reduction of beliefs to linguistic expressions. Still the concept under criticism moves then closer to the criticalsocial epistemology, which is hardly acceptable for Lackey. What follows is
9. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 50 > Issue: 4
Daniel Tiskin Д.Б. Тискин
Conditional attitude ascription
Условное приписывание пропозициональных установок

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Many theories of the de dicto / de re ambiguity for quantifiers and descriptions follow the tradition started by Kaplan and Lewis in that they make use of notions that are epistemic in nature, such as the notion of acquaintance. This may create the impression that the question about de re in affitude report semantics should always be resolved by looking at the reported affitude; if the latter qualifies as de re according to some epistemological criteria, then also the affitude report may be true de re. The present paper aims to provide an argument to the contrary. The argument proceeds in several steps. First, we point out the existence of a wide range of de re readings (mostly already known from the literature), some of which do not target referential or quantificational expressions at all. Second, we show that the existing analyses either give wrong predictions for such cases, or are incomplete, or at least inelegant. Third, we offer a new analysis (which, as it turns out, has predecessors not united by any single tradition) whose main ingredient is the observation that the right predictions result from modifying the Context Set of the conversation in certain intuitive ways before the affitude report is added to the Common Ground. This is the semantic contribution of the paper. The philosophical upshot is that the reasons for an affitude report being de re at least in some cases have little to do with the grounds on which the corresponding mental state - the affitude itself - qualifies as de re. We also speculate as to how the proposed analysis, which divorces de re'ness from epistemic rapport, may be extended onto more traditional cases.
10. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 50 > Issue: 4
Enrique Villanueva Э. Вильянуэва
Argument and metaphysics
Рассуждение и метафизика

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This paper explores the idea of linguistic meaning in the case of metaphysical referents or entities, quoting Plato's view assumed by Wittgenstein that there couldn't be a language for metaphysical referents like the Good or God. In order to expose the conceptual situation recourse is made to the thesis of a Logical Proper Name and to the thesis of Private Names as contrasting views of the nature of names and language. Furthermore, it is surmised that the Wittgenstein view helps to realise why there cannot be metaphysical arguments. But all of that is presented in a very sketchy way and has to wait for further development.